Research conducted at Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis finds a large racial disparity in student loan debt. The research found that low-to-moderate income Black students and graduates accrue on average $7,721 more student debt than their White counterparts.
Michal Grinstein-Weiss, a professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University and the lead-author of the study, stated that “college in America is becoming increasingly unaffordable, and that is especially true for lower- and middle-income Black households. Saving for college should be a priority for everyone. It’s important to start early with college savings accounts, such as a 529 plan, at birth. In addition, financial aid programs should be designed to effectively target students from Black lower- and middle-income households. And after enrollment, borrowers need more support to stay in school and repay their loans.”
The study, “Racial Disparities in Education Debt Burden Among Low- and Moderate-income Households,” was published in the journal Children and Youth Services Review. It may be accessed here.